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Old 05-30-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
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Ideas for painting a bus exterior

Hi everybody,

I still havn't bought a bus yet. . . sorry. . . Well anyways, wanted to bounce a few ideas on painting off you all on here. I'm going to have to paint the bus I buy some sort of color, since the wife won't be seen dead camping in a yellow school bus. . . Me, I'd love to leave it yellow or repaint a shade of yellow that is not of the standard legal color only allowed for school buses.

Ok so now let's talk paint. . . If I were rich, I'd have the local truck repair shop shoot some nice automotive paint on the bus, that's not going to happen. I can easily rent a space in an industrial building around here to do the work, but I won't be allowed to spray in there even if I tent it all off. The easiest route with my situation and my abilities would be to paint with a roller and brush. And lets just face it, when people see a nice shiny paint job and hear it was done with a roller, it makes it even more impressive.

I see a lot of people using tractor paint and rustoleum for paint jobs. They both seem to roll out good, but has anyone done a bus in marine topcoat paint. Compared to the tractor paint and rustoleum, marine paint seems to come out shinier with less orange peel and roller marks. And, it's easily applied without spraying. As a kid, I lived near a small boat yard and I watched many boats get a fresh coat of paint on the hull done in the roller and tipping method. They were as shiny as a new car and the paint layed down flat enough to see a crisp reflection in the paint. Not to mention those paints have to probably be tough as hell since they are designed to be in constant salt water. I'm talking the single stage marine paints, the 2 part ones just make things trickier.

Here's a video plucked from the web I'd like to share. Here's a guy painting a boat and man does this paint look good



Now what does everyone think? Is this something that can be applied to a bus?
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:29 PM   #2
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Single stage is fine as long as it has a hardener. Since Rustoleum and "tractor paint" don't, they will not hold up for more than a year or so before they begin to chalk. I did the very top of my bus with Rustoleum and have been scuff sanding it annually and re coating it to hold off the chalk. The rest of the bus I did in catalyzed single stage with a spray gun and it looks like a factory job 3 years later. Jack
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
Single stage is fine as long as it has a hardener. Since Rustoleum and "tractor paint" don't, they will not hold up for more than a year or so before they begin to chalk. I did the very top of my bus with Rustoleum and have been scuff sanding it annually and re coating it to hold off the chalk. The rest of the bus I did in catalyzed single stage with a spray gun and it looks like a factory job 3 years later. Jack
A bit of hardener and some clear coat and that problem is solved.
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Old 05-31-2016, 12:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
A bit of hardener and some clear coat and that problem is solved.
Can you roll on clear coat? Or is that a spray-only operation?

Want durability, not showroom points.
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Old 05-31-2016, 12:48 AM   #5
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Can you roll on clear coat? Or is that a spray-only operation?

Want durability, not showroom points.
I've never tried rolling it on but I think you can.
I prefer durability, too.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:17 AM   #6
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You can even do clear coat with a brush. That is how I did all the wood on my woody toad--a little color sanding and polishing and it looks like a mirror.

Not all hardeners are created equally as far as their chemistry is concerned. When they are used in just any old paint, sometimes they work, sometimes they won't harden and sometimes they make the paint all goopy and useless. Ya pays Ya money and Ya takes Ya chances. As to clear coat over just any old paint, I've seen it cause the "base" paint to wrinkle in some cases and to peel after a short time in others though it usually works OK. Been there done all that. Good luck. Jack
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:46 AM   #7
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I'm using 30277 sand colored CARC paint from Milspray. I understand that most people won't like the flat/military nature of the paint but it is durable as hell goes on nice with a brush and will stand up to a chemical attack so its good enough for me... No clear coat necessary.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:13 AM   #8
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Should look great. The MilSpec CARC paints are indeed tough as nails and easy to apply. The were designed to go on with minimum fuss. Brush, roller, spray. It doesn't care. And they are just about all available in a Gloss 80 if you want a little sheen instead of flat.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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Checking out Milspray right now. It seems like the perfect solution for me since I've been looking for a tough, flat paint. I may go with it if my gal likes the colours and the price is right..
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:19 AM   #10
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Also, I just recently used Rustoleum on a trailer with some hardener. I'll never use that stuff alone again! The difference in cure time is weeks...
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